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Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
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Midnight's Children (1981)

by Salman Rushdie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
10,432190275 (4.06)1 / 832
Recently added byprivate library, skhes, iabhatti, mrsrobin, jal1978, sweff, sgwinn82, kephradyx, alo1224, ntra
Legacy LibrariesJeffBuckley, Susan Sontag, Eeva-Liisa Manner
  1. 100
    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Nickelini)
  2. 71
    The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (GoST)
  3. 61
    The Tin Drum by Günter Grass (GabrielF, CGlanovsky)
    GabrielF: I think Rushdie based a lot of his style in Midnight's Children on The Tin Drum. Both books are historical epics told through the perspective of a child with strange powers.
    CGlanovsky: A boy bound to the destiny of his birthplace. Surreal elements.
  4. 31
    The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie (BGP)
  5. 10
    Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh (pamelad)
    pamelad: Also set during Partition.
  6. 10
    Kim by Rudyard Kipling (Gregorio_Roth)
    Gregorio_Roth: The book is a modern interpretation of KIM in a number of ways. I think it will complete your point of view on Imperialism and India.
  7. 00
    My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk (BGP)
  8. 11
    The Moor's Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie (wrmjr66)
    wrmjr66: I think The Moor's Last Sigh is Rushdie's best book since Midnight's Children.
  9. 11
    The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (BGP)
  10. 01
    Island of a Thousand Mirrors: A Novel by Nayomi Munaweera (evilmoose)
  11. 03
    The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (amyblue)
1980s (9)
1960s (93)
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English (179)  Spanish (2)  French (2)  Dutch (2)  Czech (1)  Danish (1)  Finnish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Polish (1)  All (190)
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epic ( )
  mrsrobin | Jun 24, 2017 |
"Extraordinary...one of the most important [novels] to come out of the English-speaking world in this generation." --The New York Review of Books
This review has been flagged by multiple users as abuse of the terms of service and is no longer displayed (show).
  cs13j | May 17, 2017 |
I am not a huge Salman Rushdie fan. However I am interested in India and it's history and I've heard that this book -- on of his early novels -- focuses on partition. I'd been thinking about reading it someday, and then recently the Man Booker Prize (UK) selected it as its top pick for the past 20 years. That did it. I went out and bought the book. It does contain some of the stuff that turns me off Rushdie. It's precious at times, overly complicated with many side stories that don't go anywhere and don't really add to the trajectory of the story. I've put it down for the time being, to read some other books that are due back at the library, but I will pick it up and I know I'll finish it and be glad I did. ( )
  Eye_Gee | May 8, 2017 |
A monumental piece of fiction but not an easy or inviting read. The style is highly digressive and there is quite a bit of cultural context to sort through. That being said, it is an immersive experience. I felt as though I was getting sucked into the world of this book and beginning to see through the eyes of the protagonist. I would not disagree with any of the comments in the five-star reviews, but that being said, this was not a book I wanted to pick up and finish - I had to make myself. ( )
  nngrey | Jan 13, 2017 |
Set in India the is an intriguing story of the connections of a uniques group of children from a range or areas in India and who have magical powers. Also made in to a film
  Annabel1954 | Nov 20, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 179 (next | show all)
Midnight's Children is a teeming fable of postcolonial India, told in magical-realist fashion by a telepathic hero born at the stroke of midnight on the day the country became independent. First published in 1981, it was met with little immediate excitement.
added by mikeg2 | editThe Guardian, Lindesay Irvine (Jul 10, 2008)
 
"The literary map of India is about to be redrawn. . . . What [English-language fiction about India] has been missing is . . . something just a little coarse, a hunger to swallow India whole and spit it out. . . . Now, in 'Midnight's Children,' Salman Rushdie has realized that ambition."
added by GYKM | editNew York Times, Clarke Blaise (Apr 19, 1981)
 

» Add other authors (46 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Salman Rushdieprimary authorall editionscalculated
Capriolo, EttoreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davidson, AndrewCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howard, IanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schuchart, MaxTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Versluys, MarijkeEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Zafar Rushdie
who, contrary to all expectations,
was born in the afternoon.
First words
I was born in the city of Bombay . . . once upon a time.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please distinguish among:

-- Salman Rushdie's original 1981 novel, Midnight's Children;

-- Rushdie's 1999 screenplay adaptation (with introduction) of the novel, having the same title; and

-- The 2003 stage play, Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, adapted for theater by Rushdie, Tim Supple and Simon Reade.

Thank you.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0812976533, Paperback)

Anyone who has spent time in the developing world will know that one of Bombay's claims to fame is the enormous film industry that churns out hundreds of musical fantasies each year. The other, of course, is native son Salman Rushdie--less prolific, perhaps than Bollywood, but in his own way just as fantastical. Though Rushdie's novels lack the requisite six musical numbers that punctuate every Bombay talkie, they often share basic plot points with their cinematic counterparts. Take, for example, his 1980 Booker Prize-winning Midnight's Children: two children born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947--the moment at which India became an independent nation--are switched in the hospital. The infant scion of a wealthy Muslim family is sent to be raised in a Hindu tenement, while the legitimate heir to such squalor ends up establishing squatters' rights to his unlucky hospital mate's luxurious bassinet. Switched babies are standard fare for a Hindi film, and one can't help but feel that Rushdie's world-view--and certainly his sense of the fantastical--has been shaped by the films of his childhood. But whereas the movies, while entertaining, are markedly mediocre, Midnight's Children is a masterpiece, brilliant written, wildly unpredictable, hilarious and heartbreaking in equal measure.

Rushdie's narrator, Saleem Sinai, is the Hindu child raised by wealthy Muslims. Near the beginning of the novel, he informs us that he is falling apart--literally:

I mean quite simply that I have begun to crack all over like an old jug--that my poor body, singular, unlovely, buffeted by too much history, subjected to drainage above and drainage below, mutilated by doors, brained by spittoons, has started coming apart at the seams. In short, I am literally disintegrating, slowly for the moment, although there are signs of an acceleration.
In light of this unfortunate physical degeneration, Saleem has decided to write his life story, and, incidentally, that of India's, before he crumbles into "(approximately) six hundred and thirty million particles of anonymous, and necessarily oblivious, dust." It seems that within one hour of midnight on India's independence day, 1,001 children were born. All of those children were endowed with special powers: some can travel through time, for example; one can change gender. Saleem's gift is telepathy, and it is via this power that he discovers the truth of his birth: that he is, in fact, the product of the illicit coupling of an Indian mother and an English father, and has usurped another's place. His gift also reveals the identities of all the other children and the fact that it is in his power to gather them for a "midnight parliament" to save the nation. To do so, however, would lay him open to that other child, christened Shiva, who has grown up to be a brutish killer. Saleem's dilemma plays out against the backdrop of the first years of independence: the partition of India and Pakistan, the ascendancy of "The Widow" Indira Gandhi, war, and, eventually, the imposition of martial law.

We've seen this mix of magical thinking and political reality before in the works of Günter Grass and Gabriel García Márquez. What sets Rushdie apart is his mad prose pyrotechnics, the exuberant acrobatics of rhyme and alliteration, pun, wordplay, proper and "Babu" English chasing each other across the page in a dizzying, exhilarating cataract of words. Rushdie can be laugh-out-loud funny, but make no mistake--this is an angry book, and its author's outrage lends his language wings. Midnight's Children is Salman Rushdie's irate, affectionate love song to his native land--not so different from a Bombay talkie, after all. --Alix Wilber

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:44 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

The life of a man born at the moment of India's independence becomes inextricably linked to that of his nation and is a whirlwind of disasters and triumphs that mirror modern India's course, in a twenty-fifth anniversary edition of the Booker Prize-winning novel.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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